One that I have heard is "Our new president-elect is going to change the Constitution...."
a. Do you know how hard it is to change the Constitution? It is hard enough that there are only 27 amendments, and the last successful amendment passed was in 1992, limiting Congressional pay raises. There are 2 steps to passing an amendment to the Constitution. First, the amendment must be proposed by a 2/3 majority vote in BOTH houses of Congress. This is why many amendments don't make it very far: one house will approve, the other won't. Second, the amendment must be ratified by 3/4 majority of the states in the Union. (source: Wikipedia)
What does this mean? This means that even if President-elect Obama wanted to change the Constitution, he would have to have Congress successfully propose the amendment and then 3/4 of the 50 states (37.5 states) would have to also want the proposed amendment and then vote to ratify it. If you would like to see a list of all of the failed amendments, you can go here.
b. Fortunately we live in a Democracy. Not a monarchy or a theocracy or an Oligarchy or anything else. We have representation in our government. We get to vote, without pressure from any person or organization, for those we wish to represent us. There are also 3 branches of government to make sure that the other branches stay in check: The Executive (the President) the Legislative (Congress) and the Judicial (the Supreme Court and other court systems). That is the brilliance behind our governmental system. Props to the Founding Fathers!
".... and he's going to take away our guns!"
a. I grew up in a home where my dad hunted. We had loads of guns. They were hidden in the closets, in desk drawers, the glove box in the car (he had a permit, don't worry), and in a locked safe in the garage. We were, like many kids are, taught that if we ever stumbled upon one of these weapons that we were under NO CIRCUMSTANCE to touch said weapon. This being said, I understand that a lot of people like to hunt or shoot skeet or have a gun because it is "cool". I also understand that having a gun provides a sense of protection. But so does a really big knife....or a sword (both of which could be recently purchased at our local mall).... or even a cast iron frying pan can get the job done. I don't own a gun, or a cast iron frying pan, but my husband does have a few ornamental swords that are still quite sharp, and just as deadly. I'm sure if I had to use them for protection, I probably could.
b. Look at the number accidental shootings. It makes me so sad! Earlier this year we did funeral pieces for a young man who was accidentally shot while hunting with his 10-ish year old
nephew. I can't even fathom the pain that that young boy must experience every day.
c. Maybe a little more weapon control isn't a bad thing. Firstly, you don't have to hunt to survive like you used to. Now, hunting is a sport...kind of a sad one. I know several people who have family members who hunt, bring home the meat, eat it a few times, freeze it and forget about it until the next year when hunting season rolls around. What a terrible waste!
d. What if the weapon control was really just a raise in the prices of ammunition? Do you think that people would rush out and spend $200 on a box of bullets if they were upset because they got fired? I think that maybe if ammo was more expensive, people would think twice about buying it, especially in this economy. My favorite is Chris Rock's take on this topic (he does, unfortunately, use some unchoice language, so watch using your own discretion).
"....and he's going to socialize healthcare!"
a. According to this bi-partisan website, he wants to "promote affordable, accessible and high quality healthcare." Also, he wants to make sure that every child in America has health care coverage.
b. Do you know how expensive health care is today? Mike's employer recently had its yearly Open Enrollment period. We found out that our insurance plan had gone up $300 for next year. Now, while we are given a non-smoker discount, this still would put us paying around $200 more next year. So we looked at switching to another plan. The next cheaper plan was significantly less, but where our current plan has a $15 copay every time we go to the doctor, this one had a family deductible of $1500 that would have to be met before the insurance would pay anything. Doesn't seem like a whole lot, at first. But, then we remembered how much it costs to actually go to the doctor.
(Note: I am actually looking at an explanation of benefits here. I am not making these numbers up. Wish I was, but I'm not) At Marshy's last well-child visit, it was $150.00 to see the doctor. He had 4 shots: $25.00, $76.00, $15.00, and $25.00. That makes the total for us to take him to our doctor $291.00. What did I pay? My $15 copay. That is it. Now, if we were to switch to the other plan, I would have to pay almost $300 out of pocket. And if he gets sick in between well-child visits? Well, that would be another $150 until the deductible was met. I have to admit that if I had to pay that much just to see a doctor, I surely would be toughing out everything. And if we had been on that insurance when Marshy had his seizure in February, and we had to take an ambulance to the hospital, we wouldn't have had enough money to move into our new place. It was that expensive! ($500 for the ambulance, $800 for the ER, if I remember correctly, plus the cost of antibiotics).
c. Had McCain won, I'm sure a lot of people wouldn't be worrying the way they are, but only until his healthcare plan came to fruition. He wanted to make it so that companies weren't required to provide insurance. In exchange, he would give every family $5000 to go buy their own.
The plan we are currently on (and are sticking with, despite the rise in cost to us) is around $16,000. We don't pay that much. Mike's employer pays most of it. We figured it out and we pay roughly $200 a month, or somewhere around that, for our entire family. Now, under McCain's proposed plan we would get a free $5000. That is nice, but we would still need to come up with $11,000 to pay for the rest of the plan.
I know that free money sounds nice, but you have to look at it like this. A lot of people forget that their employer is paying a large chunk of the insurance premium. Some people might say "Oh, well we only pay $3000 a year on insurance, so that gives us extra money." Sorry, not so my friends.
d. I'm pretty sure that while health insurance is important to our President-elect, it isn't right up there at the top of the list. There are more pressing matters that need to be dealt with like the economy and two wars that need to be ended somehow.
I have heard people say "What's the hype about having a bi-racial president?" or "Well they only voted for him because he is black." Firstly, the "hype" is that in a nation that is still, unfortunately, extremely racist (whether it be against Hispanics, African Americans, Jews, or other demographics) we were able to elect an African American man to the highest office in our government, and 3 of the states he won were states that were in the Confederacy during the Civil War. I think that that is a pretty big deal. Secondly, while President-elect Obama is in fact bi-racial, having a white mother and an African father, that is not why many people voted for him. A lot of people see him as just another person trying to make a difference in the world the best way he can.
To those of you who still say "Well, I still don't get why everyone is saying that history is being made" all I have to say is: WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? Not only did we elect our first non-white president, paving the way for women and people of other races to perhaps become elected to office in the future, we had the biggest voter turn out in years! Sounds like history being made to me.
Well, that's my take on things. Like I said before, you don't have to agree with me on any of this. I'm just merely making my opinion known, like many of you have on your own blogs or myspace or facebook pages or wherever else you happen to be using your right to freedom of speech. Feel free to discuss or comment or whatever, but please keep in mind that I do have one rule, courtesy of Thumper's mother:
"If you can't say something nice, please don't say anything at all!"
Thanks for reading! :)